Articles tagged "Books"


The Zacharias Ascaris Affair

It all began five years ago, going on six. Ballast Publishing, a fledgling British publishing house, had just launched the first (and last) novel of its catalog, The Zacharias Ascaris Affair. No one, absolutely…...

From “Bestiary”

The curtain goes up on the reading world from A to Zoo, emblematic. Here come the animals, tame and wild: Already it's problematic. * Apes smile at what they see When standing before mirrors. People…...

from “My Father’s Books”

In those rare moments when, bent over his opened books, he considered his fate, seeking solutions to the Balkan history of his family, in those moments when he thought he was fully prepared to begin writing…...

From “Prison Memoirs”

Wang Dan was a leader of the 1989 student pro-democracy protest in Tiananmen Square. Following the government crackdown on June 4, Wang, who was on the government's most wanted list, went into hiding.…...

Texterminators

Introduction: War and Literature Two years ago I asked a carpenter who had done a good job for a friend to come to my home and build a bookcase that would house the many volumes scattered on the floor…...

Gulliver in Icelandic

On my first day, I was overcome with dread. It wasn't even four in the afternoon and the sun had set long ago. They turn on the streetlamps here by two, two-thirty, and in the brief spell of sunshine,…...

Ten Short Pieces

The Artist's Likeness Is Like an Artist This tale is rather old: Two painters wanted to see which of them could paint the painting that best imitated reality . . . One of the painters painted the front…...

The Not-So-Perfect Crime

My brother Borja's name isn't Borja. It's Pep (or Josep). And his surname isn't Masdéu Canals Sáez de Astorga. We're both Martínez on our father's side and…...

Local Affairs

After attending the first Festa Literária Internacional de ParatióFLIPóin Brazil in 2003, Julian Barnes wrote in the Guardian, "What makes a literary festival work? Organisation, programming,…...

Intrusive Reader in the Night

When I write, I never think of the reader. But last week, late at night, I was reading a story by Jorge Luis Borges at a table in a bar when a man of my age came over to me with an air of hostility: "I…...

The Sorrow of Columbkill

Adomnan writes that Saint Columba of Iona, still known as Columbkill, Columbkill the Wolf, of the tribe of the O'Neill of the North through his grandfather, Niall of the Nine Hostages, was a brutal…...

With Borges

Nachtigall, Liebe, Herz, you can read Heine without the help of a dictionary," he said. And he enjoyed the possibilities German allowed of making up words, as Goethe's Nebelglanz, "the glimmer of the…...

“Villon and I,” from “Territoires d’Outre-Ville”

The ties between Arab youth and the law bring to mind, in many ways, a nineteenth-century novel. For a long time I was fragile, yet in the pervasive delinquency around me, I seemed driven by some borrowed…...

Puerta de Alcalá

It loved to happen. -Marcus Aurelius (Written over the doorway to Seymour and Buddy Glass's bedroom in J. D. Salinger's Franny and Zooey) He had always heard that to name disasters was sure to…...

Should Americans Read More Literature in Translation?

Should Americans read more world literature to rip away the blinders we so often wear when it comes to those who are "not like us"? "Yes" is the quick answer, the answer that salves our collective conscience,…...

Girls

Darka saw her in the trolley, the sweaty, June-soaked trolley, brimming with people and their smells: sweet, almost corpselike, female, heavy, equestrian, yet oddly palatable, and even stimulating, sexual,…...